The specialty of Urogynecology developed in the early 1990’s in order to address a growing demand for advanced treatment of pelvic floor disorders such as prolapse and incontinence. In 2011, the specialty was recognized by the American board of Medical Specialties as a subspecialty of both Ob/Gyn and Urology. It was officially renamed Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS), and in 2013, the first group of physicians became board certified in FPMRS. The specialty remains most commonly called Urogynecology.
To become a board certified Urogynecologist, an Ob/Gyn physician must first complete a 3 year fellowship and a Urologist must complete a 2 year fellowship. A fellowship includes additional years of training that occur after a physician has completed medical school and residency. This training provides intensive, focused education and practice in treating women who have pelvic floor disorders to provide the highest level of care available to women with these problems.
Urogynecology differs distinctly from a typical Urology or Gynecology practice. The main difference is that Urogynecologists only treat women with pelvic floor disorders. They typically do not do pap smears, breast exam, or manage other common problems a woman’s Ob/Gyn would manage. Urologists who chose the path of FPMRS dedicate at least half of their practice to care for women with pelvic floor disorders.
A well trained Urogynecologist will educate you on the condition, provide options to treat the problems of concern, and ultimately help you make a decision with the goal to improve your quality of life.